LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 31: Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women’s EURO… [+] 2022 Trophy after their teams’ victory during the final UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 match between England and Germany at the Stadium of Wembley on July 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Just two days after winning the UEFA Women’s Euro title in front of 87,192 spectators at Wembley Stadium, the new European champions, England announced they would play the world champions, the United States at the same venue in October, with 65,000 tickets sold at the first day.
This makes it the best-selling women’s soccer game in history outside of a major international tournament. At the start of the season, FC Barcelona’s UEFA Women’s Champions League game against VfL Wolfsburg at Camp Nou sold 50,000 tickets in the first 24 hours. However, these tickets were only available to club members who were entitled to claim up to four tickets, each paying only a nominal administration fee. The match was eventually watched by a crowd of 91,668, an official world record for a women’s football match.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 22: FC Barcelona players celebrate during the UEFA Women’s Championship… [+] League semi-final first leg match between FC Barcelona and VfL Wolfsburg on April 22, 2022 in Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain Spain. (Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
That mark won’t be broken at Wembley in October, with capacity at the English National Stadium capped at just over 87,000, but it could set a new ticket record for a non-competitive women’s football match outside of a major tournament as it now seems inconceivable, with two months left for the game, which won’t completely sell out.
With tickets costing £10 ($12) for adults and £5 ($6) for those under 16, prices are not comparable to the England men’s national team. Tickets for the final home game against Hungary sold for £35 ($43), £50 ($61) and £65 ($79). However, even taking this into account, even a conservative estimate of crowd demographics would lead to game ticket receipts in excess of £500,000 ($610,000).
The sale of 65,000 tickets on the first day is all the more remarkable considering the match is not yet officially set, as the date is subject to England’s automatic qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Requiring just one point in the two remaining matches in September, this appears to be a formality. The match is not on general sale to this day, with sales so far limited to ‘My England Football’ members only.
This is set to be the latest presence in the headlines in women’s football at the end of a season in which the three biggest crowds to watch matches at any game in Europe (91,668, 91,553 – for FC Barcelona v Real Madrid – and 87,192) all went to women’s football, surpassing anything in the men’s game.
The draw of the world champions in such an important match is obvious. Before Sunday, the attendance record for a women’s international soccer match at Wembley and Europe was set by the United States Women’s National Team, as 80,203 people saw them defeat Japan 2-1 in the 2012 Olympic soccer final.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: The US team takes the field to take Japan ok in the women’s… [+] Football Gold Medal Game on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on 9 August 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
United States coach Vlatko Andonovski was part of the new Wembley attendance record on Sunday to witness the England women’s team win the first major tournament in their history. He said that “getting the chance to play the European champions in London at Wembley is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often, so we’re all grateful that the match can be organised.”
The match will also be used to mark the 50th anniversary of the England women’s team, dubbed the Lionesses. They played their first official international match in November 1972 against Scotland in Greenock shortly after the 50-year ban imposed on women’s football by the English Football Association. As a tribute to these pioneers, the goal is to invite every Lioness alive to the National Stadium for the match against the United States, and also to recognize those from previous generations who paved the way.
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